Moss and Green Landscape Garden Design and Maintenance
When it comes down to those long, cold, late February and March days nothing beats a few pots of fragrant herbs to perk up our senses and remind us that winter will end, and we can muddle through quite happily until it does.
Having fresh herbs on hand is a great way to add a splash of nature's beauty to your home and add some lush flavours to your culinary repertoire.Parsley sprigs make an elegant decoration for a roast, and they'll add flavor to a stew made from leftovers. Dishes, such as Eggs Benidict, look and taste better with a sprinkling of chopped chives. Fresh dill adds a delicate flavor to warming soups. And the good news is that you can harvest all of these from your kitchen windowsill.
With a sunny windowsill and the right choice of plants, you can create your own mini herb garden indoors and have a constant supply of fresh leaves to delicious flavor your food. Thyme,basil, oregano, lemongrass, chives and sage and salad burnet are for year-round snipping and will greatly enhance all your dishes. Windowsills are frosty, and light levels are low this time of year, so it's easier to buy already-growing herbs from local garden centers and nurseries than try to start them from seed.
Here are some tips for herb gardening indoors that's easy to follow and will produce a bountiful year-long harvest. Get your herb plants from a good garden center (supermarket plants tend to be less robust). You will need some garden equipment like a small digging fork, organic fertilizer and some attractive gardening containers. You probably already have most of these garden supplies in your garden shed.
Soil is the most important aspect of growing herbs indoors. Use only top grade potting soil with an organic fertilizer mixed in. I generally buy pre-mixed potting soil from local garden centers or nurseries. I find that these are lighter to carry, sterilized to stop weed seeds from germinating, and contain generous amounts of peat moss that helps loosen the soil so that it will not compact in pots .
When you go to transplant the herb, go one inch up in the size of the gardening container. If the plant is in a two inch pot, go to a three inch gardening container. Leave the roots alone and be gentle - you don't want to bruise the stem. Don't plant oreganos, mints, lemon balm or bee balm with other plants because they will overgrow everything. You may want to always plant those herbs in containers since they tend to “take over” the garden.
Here are some examples of which herbs to plant together:
* For an Italian touch try Sweet basil, Italian parsley, Oregano, Marjoram and Thyme.
* For a lovely scented container use Lavender, Rose scented geranium, Lemon balm, Lemon thyme, and Pineapple sage.
* For tasty salads try Garlic chives, Rocket, Salad burnet, Parsley, Celery.
* And to say “We love French Cooking!” use Tarragon, Chervil, Parsley, Chives and Sage
Allow time for your herbs to grow used to their new conditions. Once you see growth you can start using you herbs. Snip and use your herbs often to encourage them to grow full and bushy.While most herbs don't require a large amount of space, they do require a large amount of light, whether it is from the sun or from artificial grow lights - and all herbs must get 4 to 6 hours of sunlight a day on your window sill.
Light can be a big stumbling block,especially during these dull winter days, and if southern exposures aren't available, a two-bulb fluorescent fixture will do a good job. When it comes to watering, don’t let the herbs dry out but don’t drown them with affection either either. Herbs do not like to sit in wet, soggy compost. A simple water meter from your local garden center will help with this vital step in growing your herbs. Always use room temperature water so as not to shock the herb's roots.
If you follow all of these easy steps you will have a healthy herb garden all winter on your kitchen
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